Well, here goes nothing! It's my first ever blog post. I've been meaning to write one for some time now, so when I saw the Snap Photography Festival's new photographer ballot, https://www.snapphotofestival.com/blog/snap-new-photographer-ballot, I knew I had to enter to be in with a chance of getting myself to this awesome festival/retreat/workshop. I Checked out the photos from last year http://www.snapphotofestival.com/blog/snap-2016-looked-like-this, and thought to myself...well, this looks amazing! Starting up as a Wedding Photographer can feel a little bit lonely sometimes, and it was the sense of community spirit that drew me to Snap!
This is me.
I'm using my Grandad's old Kodak Brownie 44A 127-size film camera from the 1950's. He was a keen amateur photographer, and it is because of him that my passion for photography first started when I was very small. I shoot with Canon DSLR's normally, but there's just something about film cameras that I love.
After studying an Art and Design Media degree at University, where I specialised in Photography, I knew I wanted to continue taking photos after I graduated. So in 2001, I moved to Sheffield to study on the NCTJ (National Council of the Training of Journalists) Photojournalism course run by the legendary Paul Delmar. It was here that my passion for photographing people, real people, real events, and documenting them through photography first started to emerge. My first job as a Press Photographer came in February 2002, at the Leicester Mercury. I was welcomed into the photographic team as a trainee by a super-talented bunch of photographers, who taught me a lot!
A press Photographers job is very varied, you have to be ready for anything, and no two jobs are ever the same. The people you meet, in all sorts of situations, sometimes good and sometimes bad, and having to photograph people in all these scenarios certainly is good training for reportage and documentary wedding photography.
This photo of the Queen and French President Jacques Chirac won me News Photographer of the Year in 2005 at the Midlands Media Awards. I look back on my time in Leicester with many fond memories, in fact I have some of my best memories working there! After three and a bit years of working in Leicester and becoming a senior Press Photographer, I moved to Newcastle and Worked for North News and Pictures, supplying the National newspapers and magazines with photographs from the North East, what a brilliant job, and again, I learned so much working there. When a job came up on the local newspaper in Newcastle, the Chronicle and Journal, I jumped at the chance to work there and got the job!
Alexandra Burke and Zoe Birkett in the dressing room of the Theatre Royal, Newcastle during the performance of The BodyguardAlexandra Burke and Zoe Birkett in the dressing room of the Theatre Royal, Newcastle during the performance of The Bodyguard CameronPrime Minister David Cameron visits Hitachi, Newton Aycliffe
During my time as a Press Photographer, I had covered a few weddings, just for friends and family and really enjoyed doing them. So after 14 years, I hung up my press badge and decided to focus on Weddings and Lifestyle Portraits. I'm having the time of my life, and I'm now wondering why I didn't move into Weddings sooner, because I absolutely love it. I'll let the photographs speak for themselves, they do a much better job than me waffling on!
Wedding confetti20wedding confetti outside the Church My style is fun and colourful reportage or documentary, it comes very naturally to me to shoot in this way. I love to capture the off-beat, candid moments.
Veil fun20Best Man steals the Brides veil nan Hysterics When I photograph a wedding, I put my heart and soul into documenting the day. I kind of beetle about soaking up the atmosphere! On a recent wedding, I started to get a really sore face, but then I realised, it was cheek-ache because I'd been having so much fun and smiling, like, ALL DAY behind my camera!
Marquee speeches paper lanterns decorMum looks shocked! How shocked does Mum look it this shot!!?
Although I have only just started out in Weddings, I really love photographing them and I can't imagine doing anything else now!